skulls across america

music, this and that, etc.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

hello youtubes pt. 2

What we all need are plenty of reasons to go to the grocery store. And a way to get youtube videos into mpegs. But I digress.

Without further bs, i present, once again, warmly received after a hiatus that extended to almost five weeks, Ronald Jenkees!

Monday, June 26, 2006

yard saling for books.

Between a used book store at the mall, and a community yard sale on Saturday, I picked up an impressive array of new books on the cheap. By on the cheap I mean for about three bucks total.

The finds, in order of impressiveness:
1. Documents of the Christian Church I've had this on my wishlist for a year now, and picking it up for a quarter beats even the lowest amazon used price.
2. Christianity through the ages Not the same as the link, but by the same fellow... my edition is from '65, perhaps it become the vol's 1 and 2 that are now in print.
3. The great documents of Western civilization
4. Cloud by Day: The Story of Coal and Coke and People A history of SW Pennsylvania. I'm really looking forward to this one. The hardback I picked up was printed around '75, it appears.
5. Youghiogheny: Appalachian River I lived by this river for a while, and while I've never been a river person in practice, I like 'em, and I like books about Appalachian waterways.
6. D.W. Griffith- The Years at Biograph
7. Touching the Void In hardback, circa '88.
8. Best America Short Storeies 1991
9. A tie between the rest, all socio-political books, certainly from someone's long-gone college days. 2 on the Vietnam conflict, 1 on the Middle East, 1 on the history of Chinese communism, and one on communism that presents opposing viewpoints on various aspects of communism.

And, for a buck, a still in the plastic (double album) copy of Who's Better Who's Best, and for another buck, a nice vinyl copy of one of the rock n roll albums I listened to as a small child: The Best of the Guess Who, and man does that album cover look better at 12x12 than it does on a CD booklet.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

i won't return before i can settle the score

the Taepodong 2 launch may portend Pyongyang’s determination to be able to inflict the single most devastating sort of attack on this country: detonating a nuclear weapon high in space over the United States in order to unleash an electro-magnetic pulse (EMP). Such a burst of immensely powerful energy would devastate our power grid and damage, if not destroy, all unshielded electronic devices coast-to-coast.

A blue-ribbon commission tasked by Congress with assessing this threat found in 2004 that it could have a “catastrophic” effect on this 21st Century superpower, possibly reducing it in the blink of an eye to a pre-industrial society (not unlike much of North Korea).
from Pyongyang Goes Ballistic

A heck of a thing to read, and wow, talk about timing, as I was just checking out the new Viva Voce song, we do not f*ck around while reading the article. At some point, somebody's gotta sing that song for real- let's hope its not a fascist madman with his thumb on the big red button.

Monday, June 19, 2006

makin' netflix rich, or, I'm sorry, Mr. Kurosawa



Yes, that's me in the corner, that's me in the spot-light, keeping foreign films from netflix on top of the entertainment stand for six weeks.

Why? Well, there was the matter of a week's vacation early in the shelf-life of the movies (The Hidden Fortress and Wild Strawberries, if you're wondering), and some intense work weeks right before and after said vacation. After that, yes, a West Wing kick in which we watched all of Season Two in about three weeks. And lastly, that lingering doubt that creeps in when I get a more serious film, particularly one with subtitles- will I be in the mood to watch it, and more importantly, will Jayna be in the mood, after watching it, to let me live?

Almost always, both questions are unfounded. City of God, The Hidden Fortress, and A Prairie Home Companion remind me that a great film is worth the effort. The payoff, unless the subtitles give me a headache, is bound to beat whatever "new release genre hit" I was pondering as a safer bet for the evening.

Maybe its time to seriously start building my Kurosawa, and Criterion, libraries- then Netflix won't get the benefit of making 20 bucks off me for three movies.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

rick froberg has kreative kontrol



the best internet news in a long time came to me via the swami records phorum (one of the few forums on which i from time to time lurk without posting): rick froberg has a site up featuring his work.

this is killer news.

i'm as stoked as the night, on business travel, when i got hi-lites on mp3, from swami records, in advance of the audit in progress release. rick's lyrics and singing connect with me like few others, and his artwork is no different. hells bells, searching the net led me to put up an archive of hot snakes crap, so rick's art being readily available, from the horses' mouth so to speak, is fantastic.

in celebration, here's hi-lites. i remember sitting in the hotel room listening to it over and over- first listen or two, i didn't know what to make of it, but before i knew it, i was hypnotized.
hot snakes: hi-lites

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

a prairie home companion to recent film viewings



After a long spell of no film viewing, its been quite the whirlwind. City of God last night, the 2nd half of Groundhog Day a few nights back, and the Temple of Doom before that. And Sunday night, A Prairie Home Companion.

Being an Altman fan, it was kind of special to finally see one of his films on its first run, in the theater, even if it was a Carmike "10 to 15 minutes of TV commercials before the previews, 99 cent surcharge to use a debit card (no credit cards accepted)" theater. And I'll admit, about the first ten minutes of the film had me concerned. As we jumped back and forth between the interesting backstage scenes, I wondered- was there going to be a narrative, a plot, or would this simply be a 2 hour display of interesting folks doing interesting things, as some reviews had suggested?

My concerns were unfounded. Perhaps some of the early scenes overdo it, play as too eccentric with folks we've just met, but the film very quickly finds propulsion, as the in-film performance of the last installment of A Prairie Home Companion kicks off. From there its a blast, as the cast really blows the lid off the place with their on-stage performances, intruige stalks the backstage, and various threads wind towards the last moments of the radio show. The film seemed focused for Altman, but that's probably because there's so little overlapping dialogue, and by so little, I'm comparing it to, say, Mash, Nashville, and California Split. All in all, a fantastic show- and also a great reminder of how funny Woody Harrelson can be.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

a long way home

work, play (if that word can be applied to much), lawn seeding, pool contemplating, work, and the mildest of mild depressive like leanings, gave me zero incentive to post anything. I've been meaning to post a few endless mike & the beagle club tunes, and will as soon as Ronald Jenkees gives me a reason to keep on chooglin'.

For the immediate moment, a random piece of poetry/lyrics from the moleskin.


"we got a failure to excommunicate,"
the bishop said to me.
"you keep coming back here
even though we warned you on the TV.
you been seen one too many times
with one hand on a knife
and the other leafing through the rites."

i said, "what's the meaning of these lies
you're laying on me?
the only men i ever killed were
the ones on the lists that you sent me."